A lot of entrepreneurs these days are looking for ways to boost their sales. Getting the pulse of the market and then leveraging that knowledge to drive profits seems like a daunting task at first glance. In truth, there are a few basic things that every entrepreneur can do to keep their cash flow healthy. Here are a few simple strategies that can be quickly implemented to boost your sales in whatever business you've created.
Many business owners have no idea how much technology is helping to streamline the process of increasing sales. Sales force automation technology is leading the way in this new frontier of marketing. These sophisticated program suites can automate administrative work as well as manage leads at all stages of their journey with your brand. It's all part of a new digital industry called customer relationship management (CRM). These same programs can also send out automated messages as part of an email or SMS-based marketing campaign.
Another leap in business technology is happening within the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). Cloud-driven applications contain programming that's complex enough to allow the creation of powerful new automated business tools. A great example of this is in customer service, where chatbots are now able to emulate human behavior well enough to deal with simple, everyday customer queries.
Knowing yourself is the key to success. It's been said many times, but in an age of fleeting trends and rampant customer cynicism, having a sense of who you are as a brand has never been more vital. According to a Forbes Magazine poll, customers are increasingly demanding authenticity in a brand. Yes, authenticity is a term with many meanings, but the poll boiled it down to three attributes: reliability, respectfulness and realness. Consistency of quality matters, but so does the consistency of communications. Update your websites frequently and regularly and you'll be a force for constancy in the lives of your customers. That's something they'll appreciate. Customers value honesty in a general sense of course, but nowadays it's more important to stay true to the values that your brand projects. In other words, be about more than just making money and make sure your customer base sees you live out your vision. For example, the CGS U.S. Consumer Sustainability Survey in 2019 showed that 68% Gen-Z buyers purchased an eco-friendly product in the last year. If your customers care, you have to care too.
Define Your Customers
You'll never be able to provide for a customer base that you don't understand. Marketing research generally takes two forms: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research involves getting to know customers on a subjective level. In other words, getting a basic feel for the desires and needs of your target audience. This is most commonly done through focus groups, though the same information can be gathered informally, at trade shows when possible and through listening to discussions between customers online. Quantitative research is more statistics-driven. This data can be gathered passively by analyzing the demographics numbers of your market, but it can also be actively acquired by sending out surveys to a sampling of your base or to all current customers. This is why it's a good idea to put people on a mailing list before they even buy your products!
The CRM technology mentioned above has actually been a game-changer for marketing research. A major component of CRM is gathering and compiling data about customer purchasing habits. Why distribute actual surveys when the data could be gathered passively by software? Multiple avenues of research are definitely preferred, but digital outreach methods can make the entire process more efficient.
Use Social Media Marketing
Speaking of digital outreach, social media marketing has emerged as the hottest new trend in sales. Marketing online used to be mainly centered around major e-commerce platforms like Amazon, but with the diversity of social media platforms now available, the options for online sales strategies have massively grown. Any market, no matter how specialized, can have a presence and community online, which gives cultural leaders within those communities unprecedented influence. Influencer marketing is where the big money is these days. The formula is simple: Brands partner with influential content creators operating in their specific industry or niche and thus gain visibility. Statistics show that the value of this specific market more than doubled globally between 2019 and 2021 from $6.5 billion to $13.8 billion. The point is that reaching out to your customers on their own terms is the way of the future in sales.
Increasing your sales doesn't have to be a massive undertaking. By knowing yourself and knowing your customers, you already have the tools you need to keep your sales game focused in any market.